Betsy Pierson Joins Alpine Trust & Investment Group

BPierson_09.15Julie O’Rourke, Executive Vice President and Senior Trust & Investment Officer, is pleased to welcome Elizabeth “Betsy” Pierson, Senior Vice President & Chief Investment Officer, to Alpine Trust & Investment Group.

Ms. Pierson joined Alpine Trust & Investment Group earlier this month.  She is responsible for overall investment strategy, as well as client relationships.

Ms. Pierson has been involved with the investment process, asset allocation and strategy decisions for over three decades.  She has worked alongside institutional and high net worth clients to help them achieve their long-term financial goals.  In addition, she has extensive knowledge in the fixed-income area, having managed bond mutual funds and a fixed-income collective investment trust fund for employee benefit plans.

She graduated from the University of Illinois, Champaign-Urbana with a Bachelor of Science in Finance.  She attained her Chartered Financial Analyst designation, in 1991.

She has served on non-profit boards in the past and is looking forward to more opportunities to serve the community.

Notice: Apple App Users

SecurityIcon_286Over the last couple of days, there have been media reports about  known “malicious software” from the App Store.  Apple has been vigilent in removing these known apps.  As most of these malicious apps are from outside the United States, Alpine Bank Mobile Banking App was not affected.

Because of the discovery of these apps, Apple recommends that all Apple users update their current apps to the latest version, to negate further risks from these apps.

We encourage you to learn more on this subject, by reading’s current article.

This is Not a Lehman Moment!

Certainly stock market declines of the nature that we have experienced in the past couple ofStockMarket days are unnerving.  Recollection of the 2007-2009 market decline is very fresh in investors’ minds. It is important to keep these events in perspective. The previous decline was a reaction to a financial system on the brink, a real crisis in confidence in the entire financial system. This is not the case today. In other words, this is not a Lehman moment!

So, what is going on?
>      This is merely a reset of global growth expectations. It’s becoming clear that the global economy, likely in part due to demographics, is going to be in a much slower growth pattern than has historically been the case.
>      If global economic growth is lower, then future earnings growth must be lower too. Earnings are what moves stock prices and that’s why stocks are going lower, to reset to new lower growth expectations.
>      Good news is that U.S. earnings expectations are not very high anyway, however, everyone has been suspicious of China’s reported economic data and given all the actions the government has been taking to stabilize growth, the suspicions are confirmed and China is likely growing slower than previously thought.
>      Market valuation is not at the same high level that it was in 2007, it is much more reasonable.
>      Our economy is still growing steadily. Our largest trading partners are Canada, China, and Mexico. China’s citizens are not heavily involved in their stock market so our exports to China may not even be impacted too much.
>      U.S. new home sales in July were at their highest level since July 2007; auto sales are at best pace in a decade; labor market improved.
>     Europe has become more stable despite Greece’s Prime Minister, Alexis Tsipras’ recent resignation.  European growth is firming, but certainly not robust. Recent Eurozone PMI came in at 54.1, signaling the best expansion in some time for the manufacturing sector.
>     U.S. has gone 1,418 calendar days without a 10% correction, the 3rd longest in the past 50 years. The DOW and S&P 500 have now corrected 10% from their May 2015 highs. 10% corrections are normal and healthy, even though they do not feel very good, especially when they happen as quickly as this one.
>     The Fed has not been clear on its direction and that has spooked markets as well. Market volatility may push off a rate hike until at least December.
>     Most portfolios are diversified and are not fully invested in stocks. Bonds have rallied so that side of your portfolio should have gained in value to help offset equity declines.

Investors in the equity markets know that long term value is achieved only when a long term perspective can be maintained. Volatility like this is difficult to tolerate over the short term but might be easier if the media was as vocal about the gains in your bond portfolio that were serving to mitigate some of the short term equity declines.

Investment and insurance products are: not Alpine Bank products, not FDIC insured; not guaranteed; and, may be subject to investment risk, including possible loss of principal.


Jennifer Sipes Promoted to Branch Manager in Roscoe

Jennifer Sipes

Jennifer Sipes

Pat Peterson, Senior Vice President, is pleased to announce Jennifer Sipes has been promoted to Branch Manager of the Roscoe branch, located at 5023 Rockrose Court.

Ms. Sipes began her career in the financial industry 14 years ago.  In 2005, she joined the Alpine Bank family as a teller, after which she held positions as Teller Supervisor and Assistant Branch Manager.

Born and raised in Northern Illinois, Ms. Sipes understands the needs of the community she serves.  She is currently a member of Alpine Kiwanis, volunteer for the Alzheimer’s Association and volunteer with the Hononegah High School – Readiness in the Workplace Program.  Ms. Sipes can also be seen volunteering at numerous Alpine Bank events.

Unexpected Costs of Having a Baby

There is a lot to prepare before your bundle of joy arrives, including your finances!

There is a lot to prepare before your bundle of joy arrives, including your finances!

July and August are the two most popular months of the year for having a baby. While a baby brings great joy and love to their family, having a baby can also add stress to your finances. These days, many parents are spending roughly $12,000 on their baby in its first year alone. From doctor’s expenses to furniture and supplies, having a baby is certainly not easy on your bank account.

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Alpine Bank Community Shred Day Coming to Roscoe

iStock_000002827290LargeAlpine Bank and Paper Recovery Service Corporation, a secure shredding solutions company, are partnering together again to hold Alpine Bank’s annual fall Community Shred Day on Saturday, September 12, 2015, from 9 a.m. to Noon in the parking lot of Alpine Bank’s Roscoe Branch at 5023 Rockrose Court, in Roscoe. This will be the first time since 2011 that  Alpine Bank has held a shred day at this location.

Alpine Bank Community Shred Day is a FREE event open to the entire community. Attendees will be able to drop off their documents at the “shredding drive-thru” and watch Paper Recover shred them during the event on site free of charge – all without leaving the comforts of their vehicle.

People are invited to bring a maximum of 2 boxes of the following materials to be shredded: clean paper of any color, file folders of any color, papers containing staples, paper clips, rubber bands, and/or small binders. Materials that cannot be shredded include: trash, cardboard, telephone books, hardcover books, hanging folders, 3-ring binders, lever-arch binders, and any plastics, including computer disks, CDs, DVDs, VCR tapes, ID badges, x-rays, transparencies, etc.

Nearly 9 million people are affected by identity theft each year.  According to the FTC, “Identity theft is a serious crime. It can disrupt your finances, credit history, and reputation, and take time, money, and patience to resolve.”  With over 4 million tons of junk mail received by Americans each year, there are millions of documents which contain your personal information.  In addition, most Americans still receive paper documents for bank accounts, utility bills, credit cards, etc.  When these documents are discarded, the risk of having your information stolen by a “dumpster diver” drastically increases.  By taking steps, such as shredding to protect yourself, you can potentially lessen this threat.

Alpine Bank hosts two Community Shred Days each year – one in the spring and one in the fall.

For more information about protecting your self from identity theft, visit

About Paper Recovery Service Corporation
Based in Loves Park, IL, Paper Recovery Service Corporation provides solutions from secure document destruction to recycling for businesses in manufacturing, retail, or professional services.